Latest award for unsung heroes in the community

A LOCAL social enterprise has scooped an award for its efforts in the community.

Hastings Furniture Service (HFS), which includes a large number of volunteers from the town and neighbouring Bexhill, has been recognised as Community Heroes by BBC Sussex and Surrey at its annual awards.

The charity collects reusable furniture and electrical appliances throughout Hastings and Rother so that households on low incomes can furnish and equip their homes at affordable rates.

The awards recognise ordinary people who are ‘unsung heroes’ serving their neighbourhoods and communities throughout the region; West Sussex, East Sussex, Brighton and Surrey.

Nominations are made by members of the public and judged by a panel.

Naomi Ridley, chief executive of HFS, said: “It was an honour to be nominated for the first ever Social Enterprise Community Heroes award and the shortlist was really impressive.

“We were absolutely delighted to bring the award back to Hastings and Rother for our team.

“It’s also a great gift for our charity’s 25th birthday this year. The judges were impressed not only by the thousands of households helped and hundreds of tons of furniture and electrical goods reused by HFS each year but also by our partnership work with women’s refuges, our pre-apprenticeships for young unemployed people, and the craft skills workshops and courses for people with low incomes in Hastings and Rother.”

Congratulations have been pouring in from supporters including the charity’s patron, comedian and writer Mark Thomas who sent the message: “Massive congratulations to HFS for winning BBC Community Heroes Award. Proud to know you. Salut!” and leader of Hastings Borough Council, Jeremy Birch, who said the award was a ‘well-deserved recognition’.

HFS has a store in Dorset Place in Hastings and another one in London Road, Bexhill.

It also has an eBay store where HFS lists some collectable or unusual items which have been donated to the charity. But it does not sell household furniture through eBay. All funds raised inthe eBay store go to HFS. If you would like to find out more about HFS click on or call 01424 441112.